Saturday, October 30, 2021

My use of Blogger will stop at the end of 2021, some thoughts


not mine

I did want to talk some more about my use of Blogger since Jan 2006 (16 years) given the announcement I made yesterday here. It does look like I will shut down my use of Blogger at the end of this year, but I will have it fully archived and will set aside the best posts (about 100, especially movie book and music reviews) for quick repost in the new environment when appropriate.

I had started out as an online publisher back in 1996 with Hometown AOL, then added the domain (for High Productivity Publishing) in the summer of 1997 to support my first DADT book. I added in 1999 to add more materials including movie proposals. In 2005 I combined everything into and eliminated hppub (which got taken by a casino site!)

These sites were all flat html files and in the early days their technical simplicity guaranteed that my content (a lot of it on some focused issues like gays in the military and later COPA) would get easily found by search engines and give my ideas some public weight in policy and even judicial debates.

In early 2006, I started using Blogger (after my substitute teaching gigs stumbled) and in the first year set up 16 blogs which have remained the same until this date. .    

In 2008, it was becoming apparent that Google was removing a lot of blogs as apparently spam blogs (why weren’t the captchas sufficient?).  Occasionally there were mysterious bx errors and only forum support. In May 2008 one of my blogs disappeared but was quickly restored. By the fall, the environment had stabilized and my blogs did well during the Financial Crisis, suddenly earning some Adsense revenue.

In  early 2014 I set up two Wordpress blogs hosted by Bluehost, to supplement my third DADT book. (I also had played with a javastarter site, which eventually failed, but then set up a small Easy site based on my pseudonym which had a small Wordpress blog which I did not maintain well).

At the start of 2016 I was at another turning point, and I did wonder how long Google would support Blogger as it seemed less professional than Wordpress. Google would soon cancel Google-plus, so it was appropriate to wonder these things. In the other hand, Blogger actually upgraded in mid 2020 (during the pandemic) with a Gutenberg-like interface.

So I created two more “issue” blogs on Bluehost, with at first the idea of consolidating everything to these blogs. That turned out to be impractical. But on Blogger the "BillsMoviewReviews" switched mostly to reviews of embedded short films and educational videos on unusual topics, and the "BillsBookReviews" often covered long periodical articles and new book previews.   

Within any one blog, the use of the label aggregation becomes very powerful for example all the posts in one blog discussing “Section 230”. But particularly in the past year, it has become a problem that therr are too many blogs, with placement often arbitrary. In the other hand , YouTube channels don’t offer such aggregation.

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